LEST WE FORGET

Lieutenant Archibald Henry SEARLE

Service No: 88
Born: Bendigo VIC, 27 December 1887
Enlisted in the Army: 11 August 1915
Unit: No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
Died: Air Operations (No. 1 Squadron B.E.2e aircraft 7133), Beersheba area, 13 July 1917, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Cecil and Jessie Hannah Searle, of “Woorayl,” Grenville St., Hampton, Victoria, Australia. Native of Epsom, Bendigo, Victoria
Place of Association: Hampton VIC
Remembered: Panel 60, Jerusalem Memorial, Jerusalem War Cemetery, Israel
Remembered: Panel 188, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Two B.E.2.e aircraft went out that morning (13 July 1917) on photography patrol over the Beersheba area. By some mistake the escort, which was to have been provided by No. 14 Squadron (RFC), failed to appear over Esani, the meeting place, at the time arranged, and the two B.Es-Lieutenants A. H. Searle and Gerald Lewis Paget (RFC) (Observer) in one (1), and Baillieu (2) and A. E. Barbe (RFC) (3) in the other-went on without escort. They were taken by surprise almost at once by an enemy scout, which attacked them from the sun. Searle and Paget were shot down and fell in the Turkish lines, killed. Baillieu and Barbe managed to escape with injury to their machine, and landed safely in the British lines.

(1) BE2e aircraft A7133
(2) Captain Reginald Francis Baillieu MC (Pilot) No 1 Squadron, of Melbourne VIC; born Queenscliff VIC, 17 March 1896
(3) Lieutenant Adrien Epinasson Barbe (RFC) (Observer), Died (Believed Drowned- HMT Leasowe Castle, torpedoed): 27 May 1918

Extract from Cutlack, F.M. (Frederic Morley) The Australian Flying Corps in the Western and Eastern Theatres of War 1914-8, Angus and Robertson Ltd Sydney, 1941 – Page 72

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record B2455, SEARLE ARCHIBALD HENRY
National Archives UK RAF Casualty Card 284894, 253278

Bibliography:

Lax, M. (Mark) (editor) One Man’s War: Aircraft Mechanic Joe Bull’s Personal diaries 1916-9, Banner Books, Maryborough QLD 4650, 1997
Roberts, E.G.  (Eric Glendower) (250197) Box Kites and Beyond, The Hawthorn Press Melbourne VIC 3000, 1976
Sutherland, L. W. (Leslie) Aces and Kings, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1935
Williams, Sir R. (Richard) (1) These are Facts: the Autobiography of Air Marshal Sir Richard Williams KBE, CB, DSO, Australian War Memorial and Australian Government Publishing Service, 1977 – Chapters 3-9

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